Requirements that are needed to open a cafeteria

Regarding the requirements for open a coffee shop They are the same as opening a small restaurant, since the licenses of these two types of businesses are very similar.

In fact in both cases it is the Health Department It is the entity that grants the licenses, since a cafeteria is in charge of preparing coffee and also handles food.

In addition to this, the location of the cafeteria is also considered, therefore you need the zoning permit.

Licenses to open a coffee shop

Commercial license or Business license:

You may need a business license if your cafeteria is located within the city, which you must process at the City Secretary, because if the business is located outside the county area you will not need it.

Therefore, in the event that you open your business in the city, you will contact the City Secretary and if your business is located in an area outside the county you must contact the county office that deals with licensing. , after which you will pay a fixed annual fee.

Sales tax:

Depending on the state in which you think open a coffee shopAs it is a retail business, as an essential requirement you must register for the sales tax, for which you must contact the corresponding state so that you can obtain your resale permit.

In those cases, you will not pay the permit or license fees and you will not need to renew it every year, since there is no annual renewal, since the license is activated when you file the sales tax return.

However, you should keep in mind that if you do not file the tax return, your resale license will be revoked by the state.

Health permit:

Another important requirement is the management of the health permit issued by the corresponding county Health Department.

The purpose of the health permit is to protect customers of cafeterias or restaurants that store and handle food.

The Department of Health will send an inspection on a regular basis that can revoke or fine the business owner in the event that it proves that the regulations are violated and there is a danger to the safety of customers.

Depending on each county, your health department requires cafeteria employees to have a food handling card.

For which employees must take and pass the food handler class, as this ensures that employees know the safe method of handling food.

Other requirements to open a coffee shop

Liquor license:

Another requirement that you must meet when open a coffee shopAs long as you offer alcoholic beverages to your customers in addition to coffee, the liquor license application is required, which you will obtain at the state entity in charge of alcoholic beverages.

Therefore, the requirements to obtain this type of license is different from state to state and therefore you should consult the rules of the state where your cafeteria is located to generate the application process.

The structure of the cafeteria:

The structure of the cafeteria is the structure of your business, as you must think about the responsibility you will have in front of taxes.

From this you will be able to form your business as a partnership, as the sole owner, as a limited liability company or as a corporation.

The limited liability company structure is the one most chosen by small businesses because liability is limited.

So in this way protect all your personal assets because it will be separated from the assets of your company.


You must obtain an employer identification number by registering with the federal government.

The seller’s permit:

In most states in the United States it is necessary for every business to apply for a seller’s permit, as retail businesses are subject to sales tax.

It is not the same as a business license, for a seller’s permit you must contact the county or city business license department.

Compensation insurance:

If you have one or more employees, you must meet the essential requirement of workers compensation insurance.

To do this, you just have to compare the rate of the policies of the different insurance companies to choose the one that suits you best while covering kitchen insurance, health insurance, disability insurance and of course workers compensation insurance.

Music License:

It is likely that in your cafeteria you offer the possibility for your clients to listen to recorded music, therefore in this case you must request the music license.

In fact, you will have to pay the corresponding royalty royalties for the recorded music to companies such as ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and to BM (Broadcast Music, Inc.

Therefore, once you have managed the procedures and were awarded the health inspection certificate, the identification card for the handling of food and beverages, you will have met all the requirements and you will be able to open the cafeteria in the city you have chosen and they authorized it.